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More Details on the Transmission of Lice

Transmitting Body Lice

Contact with an already infested person's clothing or bedding is the most common way that transmission of body lice occurs. This can include:
  • Lying on a bed, couch, or carpet that has recently been in contact with an infested person
  • Using infested bed linens or towels
  • Wearing clothing recently worn by an infested person.
Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person can also spread body lice.
In the United States and other developed countries, body lice are found mainly in homeless, transient populations who don't have access to changes of clothes or baths. Infestation is unlikely to persist on anyone who bathes regularly and who regularly has access to freshly laundered clothing and bedding.
(Click Transmission of Head Lice for more information.)

Pubic Lice Transmission

Pubic lice are usually spread through sexual contact. This is why an infestation with pubic lice is known as a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Rarely, infestation can be spread through contact with an infested person's bed linens, towels, or clothes. Infection in a young child or teenager may indicate sexual activity or sexual abuse.
(Click Transmission of Pubic Lice for more information.)
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Information on Lice

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